Using an analog multimeter is not as tricky as someone wonders but needs some minor skills and experience. In top digital multimeters we get many advanced features like auto ranging, true rms , ncvt or noncontact voltage testing, etc, and functions work on automated patterns, we just need to connect meter leads with concerning object points.
In the case of analog meters, we have to learn some set of skills to use this machine well. That’s why experienced and old electricians like analog voltmeters more than digital ones. Even for some scientific devices, one can only use analog meters for troubleshooting.
Read also, Analog vs Digital Multimeters
We also used some analog multimeters in our industrial electrical workshop for electrical testing and calibration. In this blog, we’ll try to elaborate on how to use analog multimeter for all basic tasks.
Basic understanding of Analog Multimeters
The only thing in analog dmms that may confuse you is their analog display of scale type formation. Newbies and electronics hobbyists who don’t use an analog type of multimeters need to understand their scale first if they want to work with it.
You can see in the image of the analog meter that its range switch which decides range for functions like 500v , 2k ohm, etc, and lead ports are same as digital multimeters.
Understanding Analogue Multimeter scale
Now the main task that is important for using analog meters accurately is to understand their scale readings and how to calculate results from them. Just remember one thing, for voltage and current you have to read the scale from right to left, and for resistance read scale from left to right side.
For learning in detail kindly read our blog “ how to read an analog multimeter”
- On top of the multimeter, you can see a scale for resistance measurement, you have to multiply reading with the selected range.
- After ohm scale below is a scale for dc voltage and current measurements which is black in color.
- Red line scale after dc scale is for ac voltage and amps.
- In some multimeters, there are more scales for micro and milli amps after it and a scale that tells about battery health status.
How to test resistance using analog multimeters
- First of all check the batteries of your analog multimeter, if they are weak replace them before tests.
- You’ll find a knob named ADJ with the sign of zero ohm, it is used to adjust meter to zero ohms. Use this while shorting both leads of meter.
- Once the leads are connected to one another slowly move ohm knob to set the scale to zero ohm position.
- Now set the range of resistance, *1k or *2k as you wish. Set range of higher magnitude if you want more accuracy and a lower range if you want more sensitivity.
- Connect multimeter leads to opposite points of a resistor, wire of whatever ohms reading you want to get.
- Check the result on screen and multiply it by the selected range.
How to test voltage with an analog Multimeter
- Set the meter on the highest voltage range of meter 250v or 500v to ensure safety.
- Insert probes into right jack, black one into comm or negtaive jack and red one into positive V jack.
- Suppose you are testing an outlet voltage, connect meter leads to both points and see results. It should give 120v or 240v according to the mains voltage of outlet supply.
How to measure current with an analog multimeter
- Most analog meters in the market are designed for testing a very small amount of current, micro, and milli amps which are present only in some small electronic circuits.
- For testing amp with an analog meter, you have to break the circuit from somewhere and connect meter probes with the points, and check result on meter’s amp scale.
- Most of us don’t need to check this level of current. You can consider clamp on multimeters for drawing amps value.
Leo Maxwell is basically an Electrical engineer and hobby tech writer, having 13 years of experience in the electronics and instrumentation industry. He has hands on experience working in various fields like Powerhouses, solar, automotive, and FMCG.
During his career, he has used many power tools and meters in electrical projects. Now his aim is to explain tools and troubleshooting in easy guides to help people. Other then it, leo loves traveling, reading books and DIY tasks.